The San Pedro Creek Improvements Project is a $175 million revitalization of two miles of the narrow waterway as it courses through the near-Westside, an undertaking expected to spark significant real estate development along its banks while creating a new linear park and public gathering place in the urban core.
The project is the work of Bexar County, the San Antonio River Authority, and the City of San Antonio. Construction should start in January 2016 and be completed in time for the celebration of San Antonio’s 300th anniversary in 2018. It will be the subject of a new Rivard Report forum series called SATX NEXT. Our goal is to attract engaged citizens to explore important public policy issues and projects in a relaxed setting. SATX NEXT events will be staged at landmark venues where panelists and audience can socialize before and after the event.
Panelists for the event include Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff; Suzanne Scott, general manager of the San Antonio River Authority; Department of Center City Development Director Lori Houston, and Muñoz & Company Principal and Architect Steven Land Tillotson. Robert Rivard will serve as moderator.
The event will be held in the Chapel on the campus of Southwest School of Art, 300 Augusta Street, on Thursday, May 28.
The San Antonio River Authority has been working with Muñoz & Co., Ford, Powell & Carson Architects, HDR Engineering Inc., and Pape Dawson Engineers Inc. to develop designs for the project. The next deadline comes in August when the design should be 70% competed, with completion of the design due by March 2016.
The firm’s CEO and President Henry Muñoz III told County Commissioners at an April presentation of several design concepts that the goal is eliminate the industrial, boxy nature of the heavily channelized creekway and restore its natural form and transform it into a destination for local and tourists alike to enjoy – day and night.
Plans include the revitalization of numerous bridges along the creek to make the two-mile project more walkable.
“Like the River Walk, somebody who lives here ought to be able to use it,” he said. “Some bridges must be replaced if you want to be able to continuously walk along San Pedro Creek.”
A later phase of the restoration project is modeled after High Line park in New York City, the brainchild of San Antonio native Robert Hammond. He revamped an industrial section of the city by planting greenery along an abandoned elevated railway track. By reconstituting the forgotten rail line, the surrounding neighborhoods were united, which spurred economic development in the area. The San Pedro Creek project aims to spark similar results.
Doors will open at 6:30 pm with refreshments provided by San Antonio’s Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling. The panel discussion, which will include audience questions, will be start at 7-8:30 p.m. Afterwards, panelists and audience members can visit informally until 9 p.m.
Coverage of the event will be posted on Twitter. Online audience should use hashtag #SATXNEXT to pose a question.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased now at Brown Paper Tickets.
*Featured/top image: Pints & Politics graphic design by Heavy Heavy.